Who the Hell?

There were 3 separate visits to this webpage (all on Sept 6th) directed via Google after someone had searched "Who The Hell is Blake Herrington".

Sometimes I wonder the same thing...

I was in the Black Canyon with Scott Bennett for 3 days last week:

Day 1 - Scenic Cruise (3 pitches) into "The Dylan Wall" (now free at 5.12a) and we decided against a boiling-hot continuation via 'Twisted' so we finished on Journey Home and still got fried.

Day 2 - We climbed the Checkerboard Wall (morning shade), then went down to the river and swam, had lunch, and waited for more shade on other aspects. A couple of the key pitons are gone from Checkerboard Wall (including the only piece after the post-crux runout) so it's a little more serious than the guidebook describes and also would host a few more routefinding conundrums if you spend time searching for now-vanished pins.

 Scott insisted we had to climb the Scenic Cruise because he "sure as hell wasn't going to walk up that gully." So we began the Scenic Cruise at 2:45 and finished the route in just under 5 hours, early enough to enjoy another lovely sunset from the overlook at 7:45.

Day 3 - We surrendered to the sun and hid on one of the North-facing walls. We climbed all the right-side variations to Comic Relief. This is a stellar ~6 pitch route, and with all the possible variations, you can climb "Comic Relief" twice, but really only climb one pitch the same. All the right-hand options are harder, but still nothing too rough. Halfway up this route, we detoured onto the 5.11+ crack pitch of Perfect Art, which Scott onsighted. There's an anchor atop this pitch, and it's a very worthy mid-route distraction from Comic Relief.

The other memorable facet of the trip was our booty count. We ended up with about 6 or 7 stoppers, a new C3 cam, 2 quickdraws, a couple other carabiners, and a pair of 5.10 Guide Tennies with quite a bit of life left in them. Hauling the extra pair of shoes up from the base of the canyon was a little annoying, especially since they clearly fit Scott's feet and not mine, but I suppose we could feel good about ourselves for reducing litter in the national park.


Wed. 9/8 - Golden, CO

Come out Sept 8 for some movies and stories from 2 trips to the Coast Range of Alaska and B.C. as well as some photographs and video of a new route done this summer in Rocky Mountain National Park. Climbing from ~5:00-7:30 beforehand at Wall of the '90s, and then Happy Hour across the street to follow.